Alan Levin shares his personal and professional insights on the use of entheogenic substances in the pursuit of spiritual growth. His interest lies in the potential for psychedelics to amplify one’s existing and ongoing spiritual practice.
He discusses how the insights from these profound experiences can be integrated into our lives. He then touches on the importance of safety, guidance, and intention when using substances for a spiritual rather than recreational purpose. He explains how our experience with these sacred medicines is affected by the set and setting:
- The ‘Set’ is what’s inside of us, such as our mindset, intentions, readiness, preparation and prior experiences;
- ‘Setting’ is the local environment and surroundings during the journey.
Also explored is the vital role of integrating what is learned during a relatively short sacred journey into one’s overall life. He also explores how one’s intention to pursue truth can help avoid ‘spiritual bypass’ or skipping growth that is needed, and the fact that these kind of spiritual journeys can be very difficult work that can raise profound realizations but can also unearth trauma.
Alan Levin, M.A. L.M.F.T., is a long-time explorer of the interface of psychological and spiritual development, social/political activism and the ceremonial use of entheogenic plants and other substances. He has been a licensed psychotherapist since 1985 and established a non-profit ecopsychology training program, Holos Institute, in California.
He has been meditating and teaching different forms of meditation for several decades. He now resides with his wife in Rockland County, NY; together they work as Sacred River Healing. He is the author of Crossing the Boundary – Stories of Jewish Leaders of Other Spiritual Paths and leads a webinar series, Staying Sane While Making the World Better.